Texas 2, Mississippi State 0

May 22, 2005

AUSTIN, Texas- Designated player Jacqueline Williams (Arlington, Texas) belted a two-out line drive double to left center field in the fourth, plating the only two runs in the game, and junior lefthander Cat Osterman hurled a one-hit, 11-strikeout effort, as No. 4 seed Texas won the NCAA Austion Regional championship game, 2-0, Sunday over Mississippi State.

Texas, now 45-11, will advance to the NCAA Super Regionals and will host Bethune-Cookman at McCombs Field on Friday and Saturday, May 27-28 (times TBA).. Bethune-Cookman won the Gainsville (Fla.) Regional Sunday with a 5-2 victory over South Florida. The Super Regionals will be a best two-out-of-three series, with one game Friday and one or possibly two on Saturday. Bethune-Cookman Lady Wildcats (50-17) are from Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

Osterman improves to 27-6 on the year, and earned all three victories for the Longhorns in Regional action. She hurled a no-hitter against UMass in a 1-0 win Friday (May 20), fanning 14 while yielding just one walk to fall shy of a perfect game, and then came back Saturday afternoon and fired a perfect game, striking out 17 in a 2-0 victory over Mississippi State.

In the championship game, Texas went on the board by a 2-0 score in the top of the fourth, highlighted by Williams' two-run double. With two outs, catcher Megan Willis reached on a field's choice followed by third baseman Wynter Turner, who singled up the middle. Lacy Robinson (Highlands, Texas) pinch-ran for Willis. Williams followed with her double, scoring Robinson from second and Turner from first.

Texas was 3-0 at the Austin Regional, while Mississippi State, 2-2 at the regionals, ends its season with a 35-31 mark. MSU would have to have defeated Texas twice Sunday to earn the regional title.

The biggest MSU scoring opportunity came in the bottom of the second. For the first time in three NCAA Regional games, Osterman's opponent put two runners on base in the same inning. After leadoff hitter and third baseman Tanelda McDonald was hit by a pitch, second baseman Callye Williams hit a soft liner up the middle for a single. Osterman then retired the next three Bulldog batters on two strikeouts and an infield groundout to end the threat.

Taking the loss for MSU was freshman righty Ragan Blake (4-3). She pitched the first four innings, allowing both earned runs while striking out four and walking one. Sophomore Kelli Miller closed out the game for MSU, pitching two-hit relief over three innings.

Texas left five runners on base, while the Bulldogs stranded three.

POST-GAME QUOTES

Mississippi State Head Coach Jay Miller
Overall impressions of the game and his decision to start (freshman pitcher (Ragan Blake) ...
"I was really proud of the way our players competed today. When you're playing against Cat (Osterman), you have to make the most of the opportunities that you get. We gave ourselves better opportunities today. I thought we hit the ball harder and put the ball in play more, but they made some great plays out there and that's what this game is all about. Ragan Blake gave us quality innings and kept us in the ballgame. Everybody's a quality pitcher on our staff, and Ragan did well the last month of the season. I felt she gave us an opportunity to win the ballgame, and she did. I felt really good about the way we competed today.. We take our hats off to Texas. They came in and did the job, and we wish them the best of luck next week."

On facing Cat Osterman a second time...
"We had a little different strike zone behind the plate today, and that makes a difference. As a hitter, you always make adjustments from one game to the next and one pitch to the next. I thought we did a better job until the last inning when we got a little anxious and pressed a little bit."

Freshman pitcher Ragan Blake
On making her second start of the year, and it being in the Regionals...
"It was a great feeling, but as a pitcher you just have to go out there and do your job and play for your team. Every time you go out, it's a different outing and you can't think of what happened yesterday. I thought I pitched as well as I could, and that was my job."

Texas Head Coach Connie Clark
On the game and result in general...
"It's good to be home and good to be staying home for next weekend! The fans here really helped us out all weekend long and it is great to be rested and staying at our own place. We've really continued to build on what we did at the Big 12 Tournament (which Texas won), and we've maintained our momentum. We are very pleased to get this done in three games."

On starting Jacqueline Williams in the designated player spot...
"She made me look good today, didn't she? Jackie was really swinging well in warmups and was hitting line drives. Monica Askew, who started the last two games at DP, has been making some adjustments at the plate, and after I watched warmups today, I felt that Jackie looked really ready to go. She has a great eye at the plate and I have a lot of confidence in her."

On what her impression is about UT's Super Regional opponent, Bethune-Cookman...
"We saw them play a couple of years ago down at the UT-San Antonio tournament. They will be a very worthy opponent. They do the little things really well and they don't beat themselves. They are very consistent."

Junior pitcher Cat Osterman
On her performance (3-0, with two no-hitters and a one-hitter) during Regional play this weekend...
"It is tournament time and there is plenty of time to rest between Monday and Thursday to get ready to go all weekend. Today, I put the ball where it needed to be and relied on my defense a little more than I have the last couple of days. They made some great plays behind me. It is always exciting to see your defense make some great plays, and today's performance goes to show you that it is not just a one-man show."

Sophomore designated player Jacqueline Williams
On her at-bat in the fourth when she drilled her two-out double...
"She (Ragan Blake) is my kind of pitcher. She threw a lot of rise balls, and during that at-bat, I just tried to look at something down in the zone. I was a little anxious, fouling off the first pitch (to deep left) on a hit-and-run. Then I finally got my pitch down lower and was able to drive it to the wall."

-- Courtesy University of Texas